How To Tie Dye A Backpack 2023 [Easy Steps]

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If you want to do some creative stuff with your backpack then Tie Dye is one of the favorite activities that you can enjoy in your spare time.

You can tie-dye all types of backpacks but the canvas is something in which your creative work shows up well. Tie-Dye works well in a backpack having a light color that allows absorbing the different dye colors well.

So without further delay let’s get started…

How To Tie Dye A Canvas Backpack?

Essential items for tie-dye a canvas backpack:

  • White backpacks to tie-dye

Here you will get 18 different color bottles that are enough to create up to 32 artistic outputs with this kit. Apart from colored bottles, you will get plastic table clothes, gloves, and a rubber band. You can apply this dye in 100% natural fabric like cotton, rayon, and wool and will get better results with these fabrics.

tie dye kit for backpack
Tie-dye kit for backpack

You have to set up your workplace first with all the needy things. You can set up anywhere you want but it would be better to set up outside.

Take a table and cover its surface with a plastic tablecloth.

Now arrange all the items like dye bottles, gloves, rubber bands, and your backpack just on the table.

Now it’s time to get your backpack wet and remove the excess water from it by gently squeezing it, in that way colors will absorb properly.

Now From the tie-dye kit choose your favorite color bottles. The color is in the form of dry powder. Put some water in the bottle and shake well.

Now your backpack is ready to dye. Put it on the table and wear gloves on your hand.

We are not using rubber bands in this method just using the drip dying method, this also provides a decent result in the end.

Now hold the color bottle upside down and apply the color to the desired place randomly. Drip properly your favorite colors one by one from the top middle and bottom portions of the backpack.

tie dye color on the table
Tie-dye color on the table

As the backpack is wet the color will spread when it dries up so leave some space between the consequent drip to get a better result.

When the dripping process is completed, now it’s time to settle the backpack inside a plastic bag and sealed it for 8-10 hours (overnight) to ensure the dye is applied properly throughout the surface of your backpack and won’t be washed out later.

When the time is over, take the backpack out from the plastic bag and washout underneath the water tap to remove the access dye. You will notice the water becomes colorful from the access dye, here wait until the water runs clear.

a backpack after tie-dye
backpack after tie-dye

Now dry up the backpack and your beautiful tie-dye backpack is ready to go. You can also decorate your backpack by applying some patches or stickers on your backpack to get a more attractive look.

Also Read: How To Put Patches On A Backpack[Simple steps]

How To Tie Dye A Backpack With A Fabric Other Than Canvas?

We understand that a backpack with canvas fabric is really very easy to apply tie-dye on it but what with other fabric…

You can also apply tie-dye to the backpack having different fabrics but the process is slightly different and the dye that we used earlier will not work in other fabrics.

For this, we need different dyes to dye them well.

Two other most used fabrics for making a backpack are:

  1. Nylon
  2. Polyester

Most of the Jansport backpacks are made with nylon and you can dye them by this simple method.

Also Read: Best Way To Carry Backpack On Bike [5 Easy Tips]

How To Dye A Jansport Backpack?

Jansport backpacks are made with nylon and the whole process to dye them is quite different.

Some essential things for this process:

  1. Your favorite Jansport backpack.
  2. An Acid Dye (View On Amazon)

Heat is required in this process. Take a big pot having hot water not boiled. Put half a cup of vinegar inside it with 3 to 4 tablespoons of dye.

tie-dye Jansport backpack
Tie-dye Jansport backpack

Now mix them properly so that the color mixed up well, now put a Jansport backpack inside it and wait for 20 to 30 minutes, after that take the backpack out and squizz its access water.

Put it inside a plastic bag and leave it for 5 to 6 hours. When the time is over take the backpack out from this plastic bag and rinse it properly 3 to 4 times until the water turns into clean water.

Now you’re done.

How To Tie Dye A Polyester Backpack?

If your backpacks are made of polyester then here acid dye doesn’t work. You have to use a synthetic dye instead

Items for this process:

  1. A Polyester backpack.
  2. A synthetic dye (View On Amazon)

The first step is to make your backpack wet by rinsing it under the tap before the dyeing process.

Now take a pot that can be easily movable, and pour enough water in it. The dye works great on the gas top. Now, wait for the water to become warm enough for this process. Take it down just before it gets boiled.

synthetic tie-dye
Synthetic tie-dye

Now shake the dye bottle well and pour one complete bottle as we’re going to dye a polyester fabric. If you want a dark dye color then you have to pour one extra bottle of this dye.

Now it’s time to mix them well, here we don’t need to pour vinegar or salt into this solution.

Now before throwing your favorite backpack into the pot first check the color intensity by putting a white cloth inside the pot. If it is too dark then pour some water and if it is too light then pour more dye into the pot to find the desired output.

Now take your backpack and put it into the ready pot, stir gently, and leave it for 30 minutes. After that time uptake the backpack off the dye pot and rinse it under the tap until the water runs clear from the dye.

Now it’s time to wash the polyester backpack. You can either use your hand or a washing machine to wash the backpack. You should use 2 to 3 old towels with your backpack in case of machine wash.

Now you are ready to go with your special tie-dye polyester backpack.

Can I Tie Dye A Waterproof Backpack?

The question is pretty obvious as most backpacks come with some kind of water resistance coating on their surface.

Sometimes you don’t know which type of coating is on the surface of your backpack. You can check it in a very simple way.

Pour some water over the surface of the backpack and monitor, if water is soaked inside it or beads up.

The answer is very simple. A water resistance material prevents the water to get inside the backpack which means if you apply dye on it, it also beads up on the surface of the backpack and you are not allowed to tie-dye such kinds of backpacks.

Which Colors Of Backpack Allow Tie Dye?

If your backpack is black then its black color absorbs the other colors of dye that you apply over its surface. Whatever dye color you will apply to your backpack its primary color is still noticeable over the dye color.

White color is the only color that is good for tie-dye as you can apply any dye color over it.


Tie-dye is fun to give your old backpack a chance to revive. Kids enjoy the tie-dye process very much to decorate their school backpacks.

You can apply the above-listed simple methods to get a proper result from the tie-dye process. I hope this article really helps you.

Nick Johnson

I love travelling and buying backpacks for my trip. I love to share the backpack buying guide and some useful tips on this website.